Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Puppy Fun

We've had Penny for a week now and she seems to be adjusting well! Still a few puppy things to work on like leash training, potty training (though this is improving), etc., but she loves being around us and has had so much fun meeting new people! Tonight, Penny starts her first class of puppy kindergarten. How stinkin' cute is that name?? I wonder if she'll get a little graduation cap when the course is over. Here are a few pics of her first week - they were taken with the camera on my phone so the quality isn't super awesome.
This is her new thing. Since I get up first in the morning, I take her out right away. When I come back in to take a shower and get ready for work, she jumps in bed and sleeps with Mike for a little while. We're trying to train her to only go up on the bed and couch when we invite her, versus her jumping up on her own. The other day after Mike left and I was drying my hair, the little trickster jumped back on the bed and took over Mike's spot since I wasn't looking. I love her face here. It says, "I know I'm not supposed to be up here on my own, but look how cute I am anyway!"

My friend Stacy came over the other night to meet her and she snapped this picture of her. I love it! It looks like she's smiling big for the camera :)

Penny's first shopping trip! I was dying to take her to PetSmart since you're allowed to bring your pets in with you. She did pretty well! Not once did I have to use one of the "Oops!" pet cleanup stations that they have around the store. Go Penny! She also got along really well with all the other dogs walking around the store. I had to pick her up and hold her a few times since she got carried away looking at all the goodies in the store (she takes after her mama...), but she did well and we had a good time.

Aunt Stephie came down from Gainesville this weekend to meet Penny. She thought Penny was a little bigger than she actually is, so she brought her this big, stuffed duck. Penny loves it! She doesn't care that's it's half her size. It's so cute to see her carry it around. 
We also bought her a little red t-shirt at PetSmart that says "Adopted" on it. It was too cute to pass up...

Clearly, she has a thing for giant toys now. Yesterday, I found her in the bar trying to attack Albert. She must be a USF fan. Get that gator, Penny! ;)

You can't really tell in the picture but her paws are stretched out in the air. Doesn't look too comfortable but she seemed to enjoy sleeping like this. If you look closely, you can see her little green "tattoo" on her belly. Every animal at the Humane Society is fixed, so they give them this little tattoo so that vets will know that they have already been fixed. 

That's all for now. Here's hoping puppy kindergarten goes well tonight!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Introducing Penny Lane!

Meet the newest addition to the Gorecki family, Penny Lane! Penny is a 5 1/2 month old basenji mix. We're not quite sure what she's mixed with since she highly resembles a full breed basenji. Her paperwork says beagle, but we see no beagle in her whatsoever. Someone else guessed bull terrier, though I think it may be daschund or Jack Russell terrier. Whatever she is, she is too cute!! For those of you who are not familiar with basenjis, they are African barkless dogs. Since she's mixed, she doesn't bark but she whines and tries to cry...but only when we close her crate door. Other than that, the only sound we hear from her is her little paws running around on the hardwood floors. Basenjis also have something in their saliva and fur that makes them almost hypoallergenic, so they're great for people who are allergic to dogs.

What's ironic is that Pita, our old dog, was a basenji mix too! She was mixed with pitt bull but like Penny, never really made any noise. She did bark, but only when she felt threatened by another dog. Otherwise, not a peep.

So here is the story of how we acquired Miss Penny...Most of you know that last June, we had to put down our beloved Pita. Mike found her about 10 years ago and took her in and despite her fear of rainstorms, was a great dog. Unfortunately, she got sick with stomach cancer early last year and due to her age and loss of weight, we had to put her down. It was very hard for us to do, but was the right thing to do. Fortunately, we had just gotten engaged (literally - 3 days prior), so we kept plenty busy with the wedding plans to distract us over the last year. Of course, it took a little while to get over the loss of Pita and she will always hold a high spot in our hearts, but we are both very big animal lovers and knew that there would be another dog in our future. We discussed starting to look again after the wedding was over and definitely wanted a shelter dog. We started to actively look a few weeks ago and I'm pretty sure I contributed to the majority of hits the Humane Society of Tampa's website received. ABC Action News, our local station that I used to work for, always does the "Pet of the Week" on Friday's newscast. The rep from Humane Society comes and brings a dog or cat (usually dog) who is up for adoption and puts them on-air. Naturally, every Friday I would run down to the studio to see the dogs and text Mike with pictures and pleas to bring one home. That never worked...until now.

My normal routine every morning when I get in to work is to check my email and then look at the local news. I was on ABC's page when I saw the link to "Meet our pet of the week!" Of course, I clicked on it and there, staring back at me, was this cutest little pup. As I read about her, I saw the words "basenji mix" and my heart leaped. Basenjis are not very common dogs and the fact that our last dog was basenji, I could not pass up the opportunity to meet this little one! We had even seen one out being walked a few nights ago and commented how we never see them around. It's a sign! I sent the link over to Mike and he agreed she was cute, but wanted to see her personality, of course. He asked if I could talk to someone I still knew at ABC to go down there and check her out. In the meantime, he was going to check out her segment on the news to see the dog on-air. She was a little bit smaller than what we thought, but beyond cute! And with such a great laid-back personality too.

Mike and I ended up going to see the dog. She was sweet as can be! When we had begun our dog search, we weren't necessarily looking for a puppy, just leaving our options open. Mike said he wanted to go home and "discuss" the idea of having a young puppy before taking her, though we both really liked her. I was hesitant but the Humane Society closed at 5:00 and said they opened at noon on Saturday and would hold her for us until 1:00. Mike had to go in to work on Saturday morning and planned on picking me up at 11:50 so that we could be there at noon on the dot. He was running late and didn't make it home until around 12:15. I was anxious to go but he kept reassuring me that the dog would be there til 1:00. We got to Humane Society around 12:30 and I went up to talk to Ben, the shelter director, and told him we were there to get Zoey (the name Humane Society gave her). He said he believed that someone had already adopted her and she was gone, which made my heart stop. He said he was going to go check and would be right back. I looked at Mike and he assured me that she was supposed to be there for us until 1:00. All of a sudden, out walks April holding the puppy in her arms and said "Happy wedding present!" I almost died! When we got married, Geoff and April said our present was coming later, but that it would be a great one. They knew we wanted to eventually get another dog, so they had told Mike that when we found one, they wanted to adopt it for us. The tears just started flowing - she was ours! So that was why we couldn't take her on Friday. When I had emailed Mike that morning, he immediately had April and Ben in on the plan. I had shown April pictures of her on Friday and she did a great job playing it off like it was the first time she had seen pictures or heard about the dog! Sneaky :) What a sweet, wonderful gift. We are SO grateful to Geoff and April for giving us Penny! She's 10 pounds of pure awesomeness.

This is her favorite toy - a little squeaky giraffe. I think he's earned the right to have his own name. Any ideas?

Penny is adjusting very well. Since she's so young, we're able to crate train her and she seems to be doing well on that so far. We leave the door to it open and she'll go in there on her own to hang out and nap. There have been a few tiny little bathroom accidents, but for the most part, she knows to go outside. We're learning a lot about training a puppy vs. an older dog. She loves to be around people and is very friendly. Ryan and Vermille came over to meet her yesterday and she acted like they were best friends already! We can't wait to introduce her to their dog, Maggie. We're absolutely smitten with her and can't wait for everyone else to meet her!

Oh, and about the name...Mike thought it would be fun to stick with the "P" theme and wanted a 2 syllable name like Pita. So my love for the Beatles (thanks, dad!) and to pay homage to a movie we both love, "Almost Famous," we thought Penny Lane was perfectly appropriate! Anyone know where I can get a little vintage Beatles doggie t-shirt??

Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July Weekend

We're back from vacation and back from a fantastic weekend! We flew in on Friday afternoon and landed around 3:30. Word of advice - NEVER fly Spirit airlines!! I know they've been around awhile and advertise cheap flights, but they suck! The reason they can sell cheap flights is because they charge you for EVERYTHING. They charge $35 for a carry-on bag. People use carry-ons to avoid being charged to check luggage. They also charge you for soda and water. Seriously? Come on, Spirit. The flight attendant came up and down the aisle at least 20 times to collect trash, which was super annoying. What trash? You don't give us drinks or even a measly bag of peanuts so what the hell do we have to throw away? Not to mention our pilot must have been either new and nervous or just an absolute idiot because we all wanted to throw up during the landing. The plane was rocking back and forth so badly. I really think Mike was afraid I was going to throw up all over the seat in front of me, but I took some deep breaths and made it. I should have, though. Screw you, Spirit - this is how I feel about your airline. Barf! So there.

OK, back to the trip now that I've gotten that out of my system. We all headed back to Ryan's parents house at Seaside Park. The house was huge and gorgeous! It was right on the beach too. The sun was still out so we put our bathing suits on and walked down to the beach. The guys played football (and some random game they made up) so us girls took a walk down the beach. We must have been gone awhile because the boys thought we got lost! That night, we enjoyed an amazing dinner and hung out at the house.

Saturday morning, Mike and I took the bus into NYC! It's obvious that this was something I was so excited about doing. I really miss that city and despite some of the negative things (like walking the streets when it's rainy, dealing with the post-Christmas cold weather and the rent), I really do miss living there. There's so much to do and always something going on and I love the city life. As you saw in my last post, we tried to hit all our favorite spots. It was great! It was so hard to leave. I'm already longing to go back for another trip! I'd really like to go up in the late fall/early winter. That's the best time to be in the city! We came back Saturday night and joined everyone to walk around the Seaside Heights boardwalk. What an amazing people watching place... I could have sat there for hours and just stared at people.

My beloved Central Park. I could just sit here ALL day!
Sunday was overcast, unfortunately. However, we didn't let that stop us! We hung out at the house, played games and then us girls rode bikes over to the boardwalk once the sun started to peek through. We were there for about an hour, though, before the rain showed back up. Fortunately, the house was only a mile away and we were on bikes. Since were were all leaving the next day, Ryan's parents grilled up hot dogs and hamburgers so we could celebrate July 4th the day before. Everything was great and we were stuffed by the end of the night!
Enjoying some delicious peel-and-eat shrimp out on the patio.

On Monday, we woke up early to head into Philadelphia, where we were flying out of. Geoff and April had to leave early Monday morning, so we dropped them off at the airport and the rest of us went into Philly. Mike and I had never been there before, so it was fun! Especially being there on July 4th! What a perfect day to experience that city. The weather was great and since there was a parade going on, we took advantage and went to see the Declaration House, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell before there were lines. Everything was so historic and so interesting. Of course, for lunch we HAD to have a traditional Philly cheesesteak! The "real" way to eat them is with "whiz" and nothing else. I got mine that way and Mike got his with provolone (the whiz was better though :) ). We walked around the city a little more, went to the Betsy Ross house, visited an old cemetery that dates back to the 1700's, stopped for some amazing ice cream sundaes and then it was time to head to the airport. We stopped at the Philadelphia Art Museum to check out the steps that Rocky ran up and down, but it was blocked off due to some July 4th concert going on. Still got some pics, though.

Our flight back was on Southwest and was 100% better than the flight up! Plus, there were only 54 people on the flight so we had tons of space to stretch out. Score! It was a fabulous weekend and we're very grateful to Ryan and his family for inviting us up there. Here are a few more pics of our weekend:

My office building where I worked for Broadway.com.

The corner where we met in May 2007! 5th and 55th.

My apartment building on the corner of 23rd and Lexington.

Meeting up with some great friends in the city!

The house where they film "Jersey Shore" on MTV. Not too fancy...

Mike meeting a patriotic friend in Philly.

Where the first Supreme Court met in 1791.

The Declaration House, where the Declaration of Independence was signed!

That's the actual chair George Washington sat in!
In front of the Liberty Bell.

The Liberty Bell - I thought it would have been bigger than it was!

Yum!! On the left is provolone, right is whiz.

See any ghosts?

Betsy Ross house. Couldn't take any pics inside, but it was cool!

Yum - chocolate mint sundae!

The famous steps that Rocky ran up and down.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bus blogging

On the way home from our day in NYC. We have about 30 minutes left on the bus so I figured I'd kill some time. Boy, did it feel good to be back in the city! We got in this morning and tried to hit some of our favorite spots. Our first stop was the corner of 5th and 55th where we first met :) Then we went to St. Patrick's Cathedral, Central Park, Rockefeller Plaza, Gramercy - where my old apartment building is, Union Square and the West Village. Later, we met up with our friends Andrea and Sean and then my friend Chris and his girlfriend, Shreya, came out to meet us as well. We wish we had (a lot) more time to spend there, but it was SO great to be back!! I will always love NY!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Vacation, here we come!!

We're off to the Jersey Shore for the weekend! We fly out today (to Atlantic City...I can only imagine what the group of people on that flight is going to be like...), head into NYC tomorrow, spend a day at the shore on Sunday, then Philadelphia on Monday. It'll be so nice to get away from the disgusting summer weather in Florida. I know it can get hot up there too (trust me, I lived through July and August in NYC), but I'll take that over our sticky humidity!
I can actually update from my phone, so I'll post pictures and recaps of what we've done along the way. Talk to you in Jersey!